Using demographic models to project the effects of climate change on scleractinian corals: Pocillopora damicornis as a case study

Using demographic models to project the effects of climate change on scleractinian corals: Pocillopora damicornis as a case study

Year: 

2015
Authors: 
Bramanti, L.Iannelli, M.Fan, T. - Y.Edmunds, P. J.

Source: 

Coral Reefs

Abstract: 

Using empirical analyses of the effects of global climate change (GCC) and ocean acidification (OA) on the survival and calcification of early life stages of Pocillopora damicornis, we employed a demographic approach to forecast the consequences of GCC and OA on the population dynamics of this coral. We constructed a size-based demographic model using life-history tables and transition probabilities for a population in Southern Taiwan, and projected the population structure over ~ 100 yr under scenarios of warming and acidification. The simulations incorporated stochastic variability of the parameters (± 5 %), decline in larval survival due to increases in temperature and pCO2, modified growth rates due to rising temperature, and larval input from distant populations. In a closed population, an increase of pCO2 from 40.5 to 91.2 Pa reduces density, and an increase in temperature from 26 to 29 °C results in population extirpation within 100 yr. With a larval supply of 10 % from distant populations, the population persisted regardless of high temperature (+3°C). These results indicate that: (1) populations of P. damicornis may be resistant to GCC and OA so long as it persists as part of a metapopulation capable of supplying larvae from spatially separated populations and (2) early life stages can regulate the population dynamics of P. damicornis.

Volume: 

34

Pages: 

505-515

Publication Type: 

Journal Article

Research Areas: